Aug 6, 2009

Focus on Fiber- Artichokes

DID YOU KNOW: If Americans doubled their intake for fiber, they could cut 100 calories from their daily diet - which could shave off 10 pounds of weight gain each year.

Only 10 percent of Americans are getting the recommended amount of fiber in their diets. Are you getting 32 grams of fiber?

Here are many other benefits of eating a high-fiber diet:

· Fiber promotes general wellness and intestinal health. It lowers the risk of developing heart attack, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and certain cancers.

· Fiber slows the rate of digestion, resulting in better blood sugar control.

· Diets high in fiber and low in saturated fats have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol.

· Diets adequate in fiber are linked with weight loss success due to its ability to satisfy the appetite by helping you feel fuller longer. This will prevent you from over-eating.

· For the most part, foods high in fiber are usually lower in calories, therefore increasing intakes result in lower calorie consumption.

Try Artichokes! They have 6.5 grams of fiber?

Here are 5 easy recipes to incorporate Artichokes in your diet...

Watch Video on how to prepare an Artichoke. Click here

  1. Broiled Chicken and Artichokes Source :Gourmet

  2. Artichoke, Cherry Tomato, and Feta Salad with Artichoke-Pesto Crostini [SGP tip- use a whole grain baguette] Source Bon App├ętit

  3. Grilled Baby Artichokes with Caper-Mint Sauce Source: Gourmet

  4. Lemon Mint Braised Artichokes Source: Gourmet

  5. Artichoke Pesto on Ciabatta Source: Food Network [SGP tip- use a whole grain baguette]

Helpful Hint: Don't Eat the Worms!

We promised to provide a newsletter with helpful tips to living a healthy lifestyle. Well, here’s a suggestion…

Helpful Hint #1: Don’t eat the worms!

Weight loss is a challenge of endurance, not speed. Sometimes we can be in such a hurry to lose weight that we will try any fad diet that promises to deliver results, no matter how unusual, daring or harmful it may be.

Some people will go to any lengths to lose weight, including eating worms. That’s right, worms! On the once popular Tapeworm Diet, people would swallow a worm-laced pill and let the worms dine off any leftover food in the body. Did it work? Maybe, but at what cost?

The great news is that you don’t have to eat worms, live on grapefruit or cabbage alone, or cut out all carbohydrates to drop a few pounds. Fad diets are designed for quick weight loss but not long-term success. The true question isn’t if they work. It’s if, and how long, you are able to do it

Instead of a quick fix, try making small changes that will lead to achieving long-term success.

Filling Up Without Adding the Calories

One of the most common complaints when trying to lose weight is feeling hungry all the time. Here are Skinny Gene’s tips or tricks to keep yourself feeling full and your weight on track! Our focus is maximizing the mealtimes and the foods you eat, while minimizing the calories by including fulfilling foods high in fiber. Give a few of these tips are try!


· Try rating your hunger – 1 not too hungry to 5 extremely hungry. Your goal is to never let yourself get to a rating of 5. Keep snacks with you or at work, in the car, etc for unplanned events. Chances are that if you go into a meal extremely hungry you will overeat.

· Enjoy your mealtimes, cut out the distractions (i.e. TV) and savor your food. Enjoy conversation! A mealtime should last 20-30 minutes, so be sure to eat slowly and try setting your fork down between bites.

· Eat the low calorie and high fiber foods first, such as vegetables, salads, beans and fruits. These will help you feel full.

· Wait 15-20 minutes before dishing up 2nd helpings.

· Drink a glass of water prior to meals.

· Watch the alcohol intake; it can lead to uninhibited eating and extra calories.

When Eating Out!

· Substitute vegetables (not fried) for other side items.

· Start with a clear soup or salad.

· Lay off the bread or chips prior to a meal.

· Eat slowly!

· Share a meal with someone or plan on taking at least half of the dish home.

When at Social Outings!

· Load your plate up with high fiber foods, such as raw vegetables and salad. Try small spoonfuls of the other higher calorie foods. Be sure to savor you food!

· Focus on being social at parties. Position yourself out of arm’s reach of appetizers.

· Be sure to bring a healthy dish to the party.

· Make only one trip to the buffet.

· Have a high fiber snack and some water prior to the event so you aren’t starving!

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNS

What Should be in Your Skinny Gene Shopping Cart

What’s in this month’s Grocery Cart?

Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Great source of essential fatty acids with unbelievable health benefits including raising HDL (“good cholesterol“) and lowering LDL (“bad” cholesterol)

Mrs. Dash - Delicious salt free seasoning, helps keep your blood pressure low. Add to steamed vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, etc.

Oatmeal - Super start to your day and not to mention the added benefit of lowering cholesterol. Try a bowl for breakfast or stir a scoop or two into your yogurt.

Salmon - Two servings of fish a week will provide you the essential fatty acids that will help lower your triglycerides and lower risks of cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attack or stroke).

Black Beans - A great source of fiber that will help keep your blood sugar from spiking. Buy in a can or in a bag, black beans are cheap too!

Whole grain bread - Choose a bread with 3 grams of fiber per slice or more. The more fiber in your bread the better for your blood sugar control.

Broccoli - One of the super vegetables that contains phytochemicals that help protect you against cancer. Buy fresh or frozen and enjoy!

Blueberries - Either fresh or frozen, blueberries’ rich blue color provides hard to find antioxidants that protect you against cancer, acts as anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging.

Milk - Eat 3+ servings low fat or fat free dairy daily can help reduce the belly fat! Don’t hesitate to add low sugar chocolate syrup for a treat, the bonus vitamins and minerals in milk out weigh the few drops of chocolate syrup!

By Emily Barr, MS, RD, CNSC